Watercolour on paper
38,5 x 28,5 cm
Out of stock
about this work
Over the last two years, Richard Wathen started making watercolour portraits – sketches, as it were, for more refined portraits in oil. These meditative portraits, combining an expressive brushstroke with a typically saturated colour palette, quickly lost their status as a sketch and became a new series within Wathen’s painterly practice.
After a successful collaboration last year, artlead once again invited Richard Wathen to create a series of unique watercolour portraits. This is a second chance for those who were too late then, or like to put together a diptych.
about Richard Wathen
Richard Wathen’s practice is rooted in the art historical tradition of portrait painting. His painted characters are fictitious – he invents figures, even typologies, in a sense. In Wathen’s earlier works, characters are depicted in a historical setting, each with its attributes. Since a few years, however, all contextualisation has disappeared. The characters appear in front of a monochrome background and only carry ‘mute’ accessories such as a flower or a glass.
Wathen’s portraits excel in ambiguity. The gender or age of his characters is unclear, but they all seem to be strongly introverted. They are sunk into a fragile state of contemplation or stare sadly ahead. Throughout several works, we recognise the same fictional characters. Wathen himself says: “I was interested in portraying someone at more than one point in their life. Like taking the cubists’ idea of multiple viewpoints and applying it to time.”